Under new boss Santiago Solari, Real Madrid are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel after some dark days under his predecessor, Julen Lopetegui. The latter lasted just 14 games after a controversial appointment on the eve of the World Cup.
1. Julen Lopetegui – Real Madrid CF
As the manager of the Spanish national team, Lopetegui was able to weave managerial magic as La Roja remained unbeaten under his tenure, with an impressive 70% win rate.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to replicate that kind of spellbinding form when he took over at Real Madrid, losing six and drawing two of the 14 games he took charge of.
For starters, he lost his first competitive match as Real Madrid were eventually bested 4-2 by cross-city rivals Atlético Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup.
A string of poor results followed, culminating in what was the final nail in the coffin: a 5-1 drubbing away at the Camp Nou in El Clásico at the end of October this year.
Needless to say, he was sacked the next day.
2. Gary Neville – Valencia CF
From the Spanish capital to the Spanish coast, it’s Gary Neville’s dire stint at Valencia.
Following his younger brother Phil, the former Manchester United stalwart jetted off to Mestalla in the winter of 2015 to become the new Valencia manager. With the non-Spanish speaking pundit-turned-coach at the helm, Los Che had to wait nine games before a rare win in La Liga .
The Brothers Neville only managed three wins out of 16 games, drawing five and losing eight, which included a 7-0 historic humbling against Barcelona in the first leg of the semi final of the Copa del Rey.
When he was eventually sacked in March 2016, Valencia were 14th in La Liga, had failed to keep a single clean sheet, and were six points off the drop zone. Qué pena…
3. Roy Hodgson – Liverpool
Keeping with the Spanish theme, after former Valencia ‘mister’ Rafa Benítez left Liverpool in 2010, he was replaced by the underwhelming, if experienced, Roy Hodgson.
To be fair to the ex-Fulham manager, the Liverpool that Hodgson walked into was a shadow of its former self, burdened by the poor ownership and financial debts of Tom Hicks and George Gillett.
But still, 13 wins in 31 games, a slew of defeats playing abject football, and losing on penalties at home to Northampton Town in the League Cup was eventually enough grounds for divorce for the Anfield top brass. He was dismissed in January 2011, after just six months at the helm.
4. David Moyes – Manchester United
“David Moyes is a football genius.” Or so the banners read at Old Trafford. The former Everton boss took over at Manchester United after Alex Ferguson retired in May 2013, having won the Premier League title. It seems that very fact proved to be Moyes’ downfall at the Theatre of Dreams.
After 15 games as manager, Manchester United were ninth in the Premier League, and had suffered back-to-back league defeats at home for the first time since the 2001/02 season.
By January 2014, Moyes’ Red Devils were out of both domestic cups, having been knocked out by Swansea and Sunderland in the FA Cup and League Cup respectively. After losing 3-0 consecutively at home to both Liverpool and Manchester City, the infamous ‘Moyes Out’ banners were flown over Old Trafford.
In April 2014, Moyes was sacked after 10 months in charge. Manchester United ended up missing out on Champions League football for the first time since 1995.
Shockingly, by finishing seventh, it was the first time that they had been out of the top three since the Premier League started in 1992.
5. Jacques Santini – Tottenham Hotspur
Jacques Santini’s 13-game managerial career at Tottenham Hotspur was as short as it was bleak. Taking over at the start of the 2004/06 season, under the Frenchman’s leadership Spurs mustered only six Premier League goals.
The ill-fated Santini gave the classic ‘personal reasons’ excuse for leaving the club. However, there were more concrete rumours that he had dramatically clashed with sporting director Frank Arnesen and that, without a solid command of English, he couldn’t command his squad.
At just over half a dozen games, Santini’s reign at Spurs is the shortest in their history.
Although they’ve had some dodgy moments under previous bosses Juande Ramos and George Graham, Santini’s infamous reign is still most likely one of their worst.
Global Express News